I’m a bad mother

‘I’m not going near the bloody book!’, said Daughter as we left the cinema after watching Coraline. Excuse her language, but I am A Very Bad Mother. Now, I thought it wasn’t going to get much worse than this, but it seems I underestimated the scariness level of Coraline, the film. So if the film was bad, then she will do well to steer clear of the book. I found the book scarier. Or rather, at least the novel was a little scary. The film was just boring, I thought.

So one person’s nightmare is another person’s yawn.

Lucky we went to a crummy cinema that doesn’t run to 3D, as presumably the film would have felt even worse if things were jumping out at us.

Who is the film aimed at, I wonder? I was the only parent in the audience with a teenager. All the others were parents with really young children. Were they thinking ‘Disney’? Or were they themselves Neil Gaiman fans? All the other teenagers in the foyer were there to watch other films. I do subscribe to Neil’s belief that children need to be scared sometimes, but these were too young to ‘get’ the film, I’d say. And for the British cinema going public, weren’t those bare breasts a little on the bare side? For a PG film?

After months of waiting for the film, this was an anticlimax.

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6 responses to “I’m a bad mother

  1. Boring?! I was blown away!
    I have to admit, I deliberately went to a late screening on a school night, so I was (almost) guaranteed an adult audience around me. I also saw it in 3D. So the crowd were fans of Neil Gaiman.
    But it was one of the most visually inventive films I’ve seen in a long time.
    There were only one or two ‘coming-out-at-you’ moments. So, the experience was more like a moving diorama. I felt like giant Alice looking in on Wonderland.
    I am thinking about handing over £10 again to see it a second time!

  2. Maybe it’s just me who’s boring, then. The only thing I like at theme parks are the park benches. Could that be an explanation?

  3. Interesting reaction! ‘Boring ‘ is the last way I would describe it. I’ve seen it twice – 1st time was at the Dublin Film festival introduced by NG – so almost exclusively adult audience with (I would uess) a high percentage of NG fans. 2nd time was a Sunday morning preview which was full of chidren – most aged between 5-10, at a guess.

    I didn’t see a lot of teens and I wouldn’t have thought this was aimed at teens.

    I thought it was visually stunning and that more of the subtlties of the book came through than Iwas expecting. I think that younger children perhaps have more faith in the story than oder ones – they understand better how fairy tales work and expect that the hero will succeed!

    I did see it in 3D both times and although the 3D is stunning it’s not theme-park-y (at the screening I saw, NG commented that 3D in the past has tended to be used to throw things at the audience, which he likened to developing sound for movies but only ever using it to shout at the audience. In Coraline there are one or to moments like that (The needle in the opening credits, for instance) but a lot of the rest of the time it is used in other ways – the tunnel between the house that the Other house going away, for example.

    I don’t like theme parks either, so I don’t think that can be it!

    My impression was that the cinema going british public (or at least the part of it whci has in the cinema when Iwent) found the Misses Spink & Forcible funny rather than offensive.

    My only complaint with the film was the ending – I could see the logic of adding Wybie (who of course isn’t in the book but was disappointed that Coraline neded rescuing and that the Otehr Mother’s hand was defeated by luck rather than good judgment. But it’s a fairly minor point.

  4. Ah, was that the one Neil was there for? I knew he was going to Dublin. Did he do a lot?

  5. yes, Neil was there – he introduced it v. briefly and there was an interview / Q&A afterwards.

    (In fact, I had a very Neil-y time, as he alo did a reading at Chapters, and was at the AFP gig. I blogged it all at http://margomusing.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html , if you are interested.

  6. I clicked on that Marjorie, and found I had already read about it… How’s that for coincidence?

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